My 3 year old child bites herself and trashes her room.
Julie is my third girl and I like to think that I've been a pretty good parent thus far as my other 2 girls (ages 8 and 10) are turning out to be great kids.
When Julie was 2and a half she started to display signs of anger and aggression. She'd have a time-out in the bathroom for misbehaving and would start to pour soap all over and throw the kleenex box in the garbage and unroll the toilet paper etc. Well now it has very recently escalated to a new level that I am completely unfamiliar with. Yesterday being the worst yet and to be honest, very unsettling and scary. She mouthed me off yesterday and tried to hit me so I put her in her room, where she proceeded to completely trash her Barbie house and threw toys in the garbage, dumped water all over the floor and after 1 hour of screaming peed in her pajamas on the floor. I told her that she couldn't come out until she had settled down and cleaned up the mess. This whole ordeal took 2 and 1/2 hours and needless to say we were both exhausted. 3 hours later she did something to her Dad (I had gone out for an hour) and she not only trashed her room but knocked over her Barbie house and all of its contents. To top it off she also bit herself. My husband was very sad and melancoly after this but did not get her to clean up the mess that she had made. When I got home, she was calm but I told her to clean up the mess (basically just to put all the stuff back in the house). This whole process took another hour and alot more crying. She has also more recently become very very attached to me, so much that she cries whenever I leave or take her to playschool (twice a week for 2 hours) and the worst is when she goes to a dayhome for a few hours a week in order for me to get errands done. Granted that the playschool is new to her as is the dayhome, but I have been always a stay at home Mom and am always there for Julie. I go out in the evening or have my mother watch her for a couple hours when she's in town as well as we have different sitters once in a while in the evening. Prior to the dayhome we had a Nanny come to our home for the past 2 years for a few hours as well and even then she had started to cry for me for the last 2 months we had her. I found that odd. Her severe separation anxiety is the hardest for the whole family, and now the terrible temper tantrums have made this even more difficult. Her temper seems to be always present and even how she now talks to the whole family seems to be with a bite and distaste. She now says nasty things almost all the time with very little reason or provoking. The way I see it is that she is trying to control primarily me as she is completely attached to me and it looks like too much. I am a strict disiplinarian but not overly so. I am very loving,kind, fair, but I also don't tolerated back talking and misbehaving. There are consequences (usually time-outs, taking things away etc.) I am open to whatever solutions you have for me. Thanks.
Both the tantrums and the separation anxiety are not really unusual in a three-year-old. The sort of intermittent daycare arrangement you have is not really optimum for a child with your daughter's disposition. If you are going to use daycare, a more regular and frequent exposure will likely be more tolerable for her. Relative to your discipline, continue use of time out, but have your daughter sit in an adult-size chair. She is too young to be in rooms (like the bathroom or her bedroom), She'll be in a rage, controlled by her emotions and actually overcome with anger, and the result is the sort of destruction you have been witnessing. Have her sit in a chair, use a cooking timer to track the time, and start the timer only when she is quiet.
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